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#339 - "The Hurt & The Healer" by MercyMe
The title track from the new MercyMe album stems from a very painful, personal place where God had to show up.

The Hurt & The Healer by MercyMe is a celebration of that moment when these two worlds collide--the deep need for healing and the God who provides it. Produced by Brown Bannister and Dan Muckula, The Hurt & The Healer features signature MercyMe anthems, engaging pop songs and worshipful and intimate moments. 
The title track radio single is sure to find its place at the top of Christian radio to continue the band's uninterrupted string of No. 1 hits. Lead singer Bart Millard, guitarists Mike Scheuchzer and Barry Graul, bassist Nathan Cochran, drummer Robby Shaffer, and keyboard player Jim Bryson have topped the charts for more than 10 years since they released their multi-platinum single "I Can Only Imagine," which is the most downloaded song in the history of Christian music. 
The Hurt & The Healer has been my most anticipated album of 2012, and I'm pleased to say it exceeds my expectations as I could not "imagine" they could outdo themselves. This incredible band has once again released their newest best album. It has a very warm musical style that will immediately soothe your soul and cause you to worship and sing along with these ultra-talented musicians. The album has a comforting and cohesive theme as each song threads the message of "when the hurt and the Healer collide."
I had a great opportunity to interview MercyMe's bassist Nathan Cochran about the title track. 
Please tell me the story behind the song "The Hurt & The Healer." 
The idea for "The Hurt & The Healer" came from several difficult experiences the band dealt with in 2011, particularly the death of Bart Millard's cousin Todd Krodel, which was the source of great deal of grief. Todd was a firefighter killed in the line of duty and he was a friend of all the members of the band. His death was a moment of extreme pain for everybody. This song helped us to work through our grief. This particular song ended up as the title of the album as it encapsulated everything we went through. It was the first song we wrote for the album and it was a great way to start.

It was unique for all of us as a band as we were asked to play at the funeral for Bart's cousin. We had to stand there in front of 3,000 firefighters and sing songs and encourage people and tell them how somehow God is in the middle of this. That is just as much a reminder for us because we tend to want to think that God is just part of things that feel good. God tells us that we will feel pain. 
Please share the Bible verses that tie-in to the song. Any life verse?

My life passage is Romans 11:36-12:2: "For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
How can listeners apply that message in their walks as Christians when they listen to the song?
It is a constant reminder that God's in our circumstances no matter how we're feeling in those moments. This song was an extremely good snapshot of where we were as a band at that point. We don't just need a meeting with God, but a full-on collision with Him as the song talks about. If we're honest, sometimes we'd like God to leave us alone, and God's not going to leave us alone in those moments. It creates a mess, and we lose all of our excuses in those moments. We can't take a pious attitude and act like we have it altogether. We are promised that one day there will be no more death, no more pain, and no more suffering. Could it be that the struggles we go through in this life are to remind us that God is here with us? Maybe that's part of presenting ourselves as a "living sacrifice" to Him. It could just be taking a moment each day to be reminded that God is with us. There are promises that He has made regardless of how we're feeling in those moments of pain. Even if we understood things from God's perspective, it wouldn't hurt any less.
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn't come from the explained
Jesus please don't let this go in vain
You're all I have
All that remains

So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Sometimes I feel it's all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It's the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say "It's over now"

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here 
Biblical truth is woven into the thesis statement of the album, the hit title track "The Hurt & The Healer." The last couple of albums have featured a Brit-rock musical style like The Beatles and electronic rock like Electric Light Orchestra and Maroon 5. Once again MercyMe has adapted and musically this album features gang vocals and an alternative rock musical style which reminds me of Arcade Fire and Muse. 
The chorus sums up our transformation as followers of Jesus: "I'm alive even though a part of me has died, You take this heart and breathe it back to life, I fall into Your arms open wide, when the hurt and The Healer collide." The song is catchy and expresses the prayerful yearnings of my heart. 
Don't miss out on the compelling sonic musical feel of this stellar five-star album. Bart Millard's vocals are stronger than ever and the encouraging and prayerful themes of this album are catchy, emotional and inspirational. I fully expect several GMA Dove Award nominations for group, pop/contemporary album/song and one of my selections for Song of the Year, "The Hurt & The Healer." 
This great song challenges me to live to for Jesus as a "living sacrifice." All of us are absolutely dependent on God.  He is the source of all things and He works in all of us to bring glory to Him.  God wants us to offer ourselves as "living sacrifices" out of gratitude for the forgiveness of our sins. God wants us to be "transformed by the renewing of our mind." Amen.
(You can watch the music video here.)

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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